Chief executive officer, CEO, CITA aviation fueling company, Dr. Ogungbange Thomas Olaleye wants domestic airline operators to see marketing as a strategic tool for survival in a competitive and turbulent environment in which they operate.
Dr. Olaleye who stated this at public lecture and his doctoral reception in Lagos with the theme: ‘strategies and business performance of Domestic airlines in Nigeria’ blamed the low performance of airline business in the country on the inability to provide quality services and adoption of marketing concepts and other promotions to attract investments and more people to travel by air.
He said,”marketing strategy embraces major fundamental components of marketing practice. Despite this importance, airlines industry in Nigeria has been unable to grow, expand and be strong enough to attract more Nigerians to travel by air, and this has contributed to excess capacity ( or performance below capacity) that leads to huge economic losses in terms of potential turnover of air travelers not captured as passengers by the airlines”.
The CITA boss who carried out a study into the subject emphasized that, ” it should be realized that the economic configuration that were so successful during the 20th century are unlikely to serve airlines so well in the 21st century particularly with the challenges posed by the growing sophistication of consumers, technology , continuous and changing demands of the customers and ultimately, employees’ dynamic and conflicting interests with that of the owners”
According to him, ” again, in order to get around these issues, the efforts of airline operators must be directed towards harnessing the non- economic and long run effects of marketing strategies to achieve corporate visibility, enhanced public image viability”.
He said the study identifies among other things that executives in the Nigerian airline industry have not been market driven as they lagged behind in adopting marketing concepts and other promotions bringing about performance below capacity, inability to provide quality services, and the resultant abysmal profit.
The study therefore recommended that inappropriate choice of marketing strategies may lead to strategic marketing failure and so when choosing the marketing strategies to be engaged with, airlines must endeavor to identify the right mix of marketing activities that will match the company’s product or service offering to convey the intended message about brand, with the aim of getting the desired consumer response towards their product brand.
Dr. Ogungbangbe Olaleye while concluding the lecture urged the regulatory agencies, the Nigerian Airspace Management agency, NAMA, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA to collaborate and intensify their efforts in the monitoring of strategies that leads to profitability as a way of promoting the financial health of the Nigerian Aviation Sector.
” the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA report(NCAA, 2015) in business failure in the airline industry concluded that 28 airlines inclusive of 4 national carriers collapsed in the last 15 years”.